Texas A&M junior Natosha Rogers was the surprise champion of the 10,000 meter final at the NCAA Championships two weeks ago.
We thought that was an accomplishment – until Friday night.
Rogers hung with the lead pack throughout the Olympic Trials 10,000 meter final with the likes of an Olympic medalist, collegiate and American record holders.
When it came down to the final lap, Rogers boldly moved to the front with 200 meters to go, holding the lead until the final straightaway when Amy Hastings slingshot off the curve to claim victory. Rogers gamely held off marathon Olympian Shalane Flanagan for second place.
“I wasn’t even thinking,” Rogers said about the final lap. “I just had that extra kick that got me second.”
Despite finishing in the top three, Rogers will not be going to London because she has not run the Olympic ‘A’ standard of 31:45.00.
“I can’t be disappointed in myself,” Rogers said after the race. “I’m very thrilled with myself and the future I have ahead of me.”
Friday’s 10k was just the fourth 10k of Rogers’s career – all of which were contested this season.
Rogers entered 2012 as just a 16:25.79 5000 meter runner. She bested pace for twice the distance on Friday.
“I just really like that satisfaction of having your work pay off,” Rogers said about the work behind her massive improvements.